While we tend to imagine Thailand as a place of partying-til-we-drop and beach vacations, it also has a thriving sports culture. Bangkok is a hub for Asian sports of all sorts, most especially tennis, and with many exciting tournaments coming in 2020, it’s time to plan your trip! Sports fanatics will love seeing a different side of their favourite sports, while the rest of us can enjoy others bring their A-game before cooling down with cocktails on the beach.
Thailand is fast becoming a major international destination for the sporting world, and there’s sports events happening throughout the year, across a huge range of disciplines. Thousands flock to attend them. Will you be one this year?
The Thai MotoGP
A key part of the international motorcycle racing circuit, Thailand is a staple on the Moto GP calendar. The Chang International Circuit track, sponsored by the Chang beer corporation since 2014, attracts racers from across the world, including many famous names. Currently, you’ll need to head to Buriram, Thailand, to catch the MotoGP, as they are on a 3-year commitment to the area ending this year.
Heading to Hua Hin for WTA tennis and much more.
Thailand is a hive of activity for global tennis lovers. Many of the key tournaments this year play out in Bangkok, of course, but those who love the Women’s and International Tennis Federation circuits will want to head to the coastal beach town of Hua Hin instead. The tennis greats will be enjoying the brand-new amenities of the True Arena for matches throughout the year. If you’re an avid player, then you’ll find courts you’re free to play on here too, though you might not quite pull the 5000-strong crowd the WTA champs are expected to host!
While the WTA tournament is a huge drawcard, there’s plenty more to enjoy in Hua Hin. It’s a golfer’s paradise, boasting 8 quality courses within the city limits, another 4 under 2 hours drive, and one under renovation. Enjoy the courses with a little extra love during the August-September Golf Festival.
Fishing at sea and in freshwater is a popular sport, and you can pair it up nicely with an eco-cruise to see the sights. As with most of Thailand, martial arts and fitness gyms are everywhere, and the daring can try their hand at kiteboarding and other water-sports, too. Huan Hin also has its own marathon, hosted in May, and triathlon, hosted in October.
Tennis Tours in Thailand 2020
For tennis fans, the kingpin of the 2020 Thai tennis circuit is, of course, the ATP Bangkok Open. It’s far from the only excitement happening this year, however, although it’s a great way to get the party started. Ladies tennis kingpins, the WTA, will also be hosting championships here throughout the year.
Keen to see something a little different, but in the tennis spirit? Watch a Racketlon Tournament, where participants will not only square off in tennis, but also squash, table tennis and badminton for a quadrathlon with a difference.
Other notable sports events in Thailand
Tennis is far from the only sporting event in Thailand this year. Kick off the year in style with the 2020 BWF Badminton tour. Watch artful fighters duke it out in the Queen’s Cup Muay Thai in August, or cheer the runners in the Amazing Thailand Bangkok Marathon. The Bangkok Marathon has been running since 1988, too, and always takes place on the 3rd Sunday of November. Entrance is easy, but if you prefer to watch don’t worry- the athletes will appreciate the support! There’s also a 5km ‘fun run’ for those who’d like to join in without becoming serious athletes. Watch Asian Rugby at its best with the Bangkok International Rugby 10s, view powerlifters at their best in the SEA Cup 2020, or hop on a bike and join the Bike Zone Tri-dash in March.
Honestly, there’s a bustling world of sports to enjoy- all that’s missing is you in the crowd! Here’s some key dates to diarise, but remember there will be many more as the year progresses!
- ATP Bangkok Open: 13-19 January 2020
WTA Toyota Thailand Open: 10-16 February 2020
- UTR Thailand Tennis Tour 2020: October 2020
- ATF/LTAT Youth Tennis Champs: March, April and September 2020
- CHA Thailand Open 2020 3rd-5th January 2020
- BWF World Tour: Toyota Thailand Open: 21st Jan 2020
- Queen’s Cup Muay Thai: 11 Aug 2020
- Bangkok International Rugby 10s: 29 February 2020
- Amazing Thailand Marathon: 1st and 2nd February 2020
- Bike Zone Tri-dash: March 2020
- Sea Cup 2020: 21st April 2020
No matter whether you’re a participant or spectator, there’s tons of exciting sports tournaments hitting Thailand’s shores this year! Whether it’s taking in the Bangkok-centred action, or enjoying the world tennis circuit in Huan Hin, you’re sure to find the perfect match for you.
Image: WTA Thailand